Education, Exploitation, & Examination

It’s been fifty-four days since I had a Coca-Cola. I used to drink 4 to 6 (or more) of them per day, and I quit, cold turkey. I also stopped eating or drinking anything with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Since the first of the year I have lost seven pounds, bringing me to a loss of 16 pounds since November 1st of last year. I still have about 14 pounds to lose, but I am pretty sure I can accomplish that goal before spring comes to an end.

The only side effect of my new eating habits, is the re-occurrence of headaches, which usually hit later in the day and sometimes last until the following morning. Once I figure out what’s causing the headaches I should be golden with this whole “eating right” thing.

I have quite a few articles piled up here in my browser, so I thought I would pass them on to you this evening. It’s been about a month since I did a “thoughts” post, so it’s time.

Thought #1

I’m all for improving our current education system, but I hardly think increasing the “assessments” will solve any of the current problems plaguing the system.

Obama’s 2011 budget will call for the reauthorization of the 1994 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would require states to meet six tough standards to help high school graduates prepare for college or careers. The administration said schools need to focus on better teacher preparation, improved teaching and tougher student assessments.

It’s no secret that we homeschool our children. There are several reasons we choose to keep them out of the public school system, and one of those reasons is the current “teaching for the test” mentality. Too much pressure is on too many teachers and when time gets away from them they end up focusing only on the specific subjects and problems that will be covered in “the test”.

We have seen neighborhood kids stressing about “the test”, and we have spoken to teachers who wish they could take time to cover some subjects more in-depth but they are so constrained by “the test” they don’t dare take a even a moment out of their already tight schedule.

I wish I knew the solution to improving our educational system, but I am quite sure it isn’t making the assessments tougher or telling teachers they need to prepare more. Have you spoken to a teacher lately? Do you realize how much time (and personal money) they devote to their jobs as it is?

Thought #2

When was the last time you bought an article of clothing that was made in the United States of America? I feel for the people of Haiti, but I do not think this is the answer to their problem, and it only exacerbates ours.

In the quest to rebuild Haiti, the international community and business leaders are dusting off a pre-quake plan to expand its low-wage garment assembly industry as a linchpin of recovery. President Barack Obama’s administration is on board, encouraging U.S. retailers to obtain from Haiti at least 1 percent of the clothes they sell.

The garment industry in America is dying as it is. One percent doesn’t sound like a lot, but when there is little to nothing being manufactured here in the United States as it is, one percent will actually have quite an impact.

I find it ironic that this plan is endorsed by the current administration. If it had been proposed by a Republican administration (or endorsed by it), there would be cries of exploitation and we would be seen as taking advantage of the Haitian people.

Does it really make a difference if your clothes are made in China, Thailand, Indonesia, or Haiti? No matter which one you pick, the workers are exploited and taken advantage of. I guess it’s okay this time, because they’re calling for it in the name of “hope” for the people of Haiti.

Thought #3

The Washington Post has a pretty good explanation of President Obama’s latest health-care “modification”. Rather than starting over because the majority of the American people are unhappy with the current proposal, he slapped some lipstick on the pig and pushed it out the door.

Mr. Obama, following the advice of nearly every economist who has examined the issue, identified a tax on high-cost insurance plans as a key mechanism for curbing the growth of health-care costs. He was right. Unfortunately, in the legislative process the tax already was whittled down several times. Now the president proposes delaying it until 2018 — long after he leaves office — and raising the threshold at which it applies. Meanwhile, to recoup the $120 billion lost by the delay, Mr. Obama would apply the Medicare payroll tax to unearned income for the wealthiest taxpayers — money that should be used to shore up Medicare’s shaky finances rather than subsidizing cushy insurance.

Go read the rest of the article, it summarizes the President’s health-care changes quite succinctly.

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The Disgraceful Treatment Of The Dalai Lama

Do you remember the news back in April of last year, when President Obama met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, not once but twice, at the meeting of the Union of South American Nations?

You probably don’t, so I will remind you.

Obama, Chavez Meet; Chavez Gives Obama a Book

 

Obama has come face to face with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of Washington’s fiercest critics, twice so far at the Summit of the Americas. According to a senior official, when the two men were lining up for the ceremonial entrance last night, Obama strode over to Chavez and introduced himself. Chavez reportedly told Obama he hoped for a new start to relations between the two countries, an account the U.S. official did not dispute. According to the official, Obama smiled and returned to his place in the line. Later that night Obama joked to reporters that he’d said “Como estas?”

This morning, at the beginning of a meeting of the Union of South American Nations, Chavez gave Obama a book: “Las Venas Abietas de America Latina” or “The Open Veins of Latin America”, a scholarly text that analyzes Latin America’s dependence on the north. The media friendly Chavez waited until the press had been allowed into the room for a photo opportunity before gifting the book, which Obama accepted.

Do you remember the photo op that went with that second meeting?

 

So why am I reminding you of something that occurred ten months ago? It’s simple, really.

I think it’s important to remember who our President chooses to surround himself with, and more importantly, who he chooses to be seen with.

The two photos of President Obama greeting Hugo Chavez are unscripted. They are candid shots taken by photographers at the event who captured that historic moment in time when the leader of the free world met one of the world’s most vicious dictators and smiled while doing so.

Now, fast forward to this week.

Obama meets Dalai Lama; Only one photo allowed

The only photograph of President Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama was taken by a White House photographer. Independent media was not allowed to cover the event. The President of the United States was so worried about offending China that he met privately with the Dalai Lama and released an “official” photo which depicts President Obama with a stern face and the Dalai Lama looking a bit shocked, or something.

 

It’s clear that the Obama administration staged this photo opportunity so they could whitewash the meeting with the Dalai Lama and save face with China. Articles from the media reveal the real reason that independent photographers were not allowed to record the meeting.

The sensitivity comes for fear of offending China which, as the Associated Press notes, now holds nearly $800 billion in U.S. federal debt. And for fear of reprisals in other areas by the rising Asian superpower. (Gee, what if China used lead in its paints?)

China sees the Dalai Lama as a separatist seeking to overthrow the sovereignty that China imposed militarily in 1950. Well, no one said it had to make sense. The Dalai Lama fled in 1959 after a failed revolt and lives in India now.

If meeting with the Dalai Lama in private without independent media covering the event wasn’t bad enough, just wait til you see what happened next. You see, when President Obama met with Hugo Chavez at the meeting of the Union of South American Nations, they were both allowed to use the front door while entering and exiting. The same cannot be said about the Dalai Lama.

 

I thought President Obama promised us hope and change. I thought this was the 21st Century. Since when do we, the American people, usher guests in and out of the back door at America’s House?

Didn’t Rosa Parks refuse to give up her seat on a bus so this type of thing wouldn’t happen again? Wasn’t Medgar Evers sacrifice enough? He believed that everyone was indeed created equal.

No one should be ushered out through the back door of the White House, for any reason, let alone to save face with a country that wouldn’t know civil rights if it came crashing through their window tied to a brick.

February is Black History Month here in the United States, which is good timing, because it’s clear to me that our own President needs a bit of a refresher course. If anyone in the White House should understand the significance of ushering people out the back door, it’s our current President.

It’s time to change, Mr. President. This is no time to be yellow.

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Caught, Taught, Burned, And Spurned

I heard that President Obama gave a speech at the U.N. today. I heard a lot of other stuff too. Today was another busy day, so tonight you get more thoughts. Oh stop, you know you like them.

Thought #1

ACORN has filed suit against the team that produced the undercover videos that exposed the level of corruption inside the organization.

The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings.

They fired the two employees seen on the video, and then use the fact that those two former employees have suffered from “extreme emotional distress” because of the ordeal.

Shouldn’t the employees have filed suit against ACORN for false termination or something? They were most likely doing the very thing they were trained to do in the first place.

Thought #2

Remember that video I asked about last night? You know, the one where the kids are being trained to praise the great and powerful O? Apparently it bears a striking similarity to a video produced to praise the leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Il.

And while we’re on the subject of schoolchildren, did you know some students were tested after being forced to view the President’s address to the Joint Session of Congress?

An isolated case or an example of the indoctrination taking place right now in our schools?

Thought #3

The United Nations held their yearly “lets compare the size of our…” forum again today.

Achmed I’mANutJob spoke at the gathering and delegates from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States walked out. My only question is, did President Obama encourage our U.N. ambassador to walk out or will he be forced to resign now?

If you missed the President’s address to the United Nations today, you really missed out on one of the most disgraceful speeches ever delivered by a U.S. President.

Frank says it best when he says,

The United Nations, mostly financed by us, is a pit of vipers striking daily at the principals for which the United States of America stands and now this “leader” apologizes. It is obvious that he places no value on the oath taken earlier this year and never intends to abide by it.

Thank you Frank.

Thought #4

Nancy Pelosi had decided she doesn’t need the support of Blue Dog Democrats in the debate over health care.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to include in the bill a tax on wealthy Americans, as well as a more robust government-run health insurance plan (or “public option”), abandoning the compromises leaders in a key committee worked out with the moderate Blue Dog Democrats.

Mrs. Pelosi is going to need some more Botox injections if she keeps stretching her mouth so much from inserting her foot. She didn’t have the votes with their support, let alone by walking away from them.

Thought #5

Bad form, Sarah. Bad form. It’s one thing to criticize the sitting U.S. President on American soil, but it’s hardly something that should be done while standing in a foreign land.

Whether you agree with the current administration or not, you don’t set up your soapbox on foreign soil and bash the President of the United States, no matter how legitimate those criticisms are.

As a staunch supporter of yours, I am quite disappointed. Like I said, bad form, Sarah.

Thought #6

The IRS dumped ACORN today. Wow. How bad do you suck if the IRS wants nothing to do with you?

That’s it for tonight. I’m off to read a book on the Kindle for iPhone app. You won’t believe how much I’ve been reading since I got that iPhone.

Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

Calvin Coolidge